The New Year rings in!

Happy 2015!! Let this year bring more excitement and adventure!!

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Here is the last sunset of 2014 in Japan! I was walking through a park when at one spot you could see the sunset perfectly! unfortunately I didn’t bring a camera, so I took the photo with my phone. I think it came out alright :). Now, night time brought many festivities, one of which my family and I went to was the Oji Kitsune-no-gyoretsu Fox Parade!

According to legend:

A number of foxes that serve at inari shrine and all around the Kanto area come together and hold meetings at the shrine every new years eve.

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We arrived at the shrine around 10 pm, but the parade was at midnight, so we had time to look at the activity going about My sister and I painted our faces as foxes, well, OUR version of a fox.  Apparently the japanese paint their face all white with a streak of orange paint from their foreheads to their nose, and a little black dot on the tip of their nose. So, being the odd looking foxes we were, plenty of people were eager to take our picture. When I first arrived at the shrine, my mother bought us fox masks and even a lantern.

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Once I put on the mask, a elderly japanese man came up to me and started speaking to me. I couldn’t follow anything he was saying, so after a minute or so of trying to talk to me, he simply grabbed my arm. I was suddenly thrusted in front of lanterns and he posed me in a sort of, fox like manner. Then, as if out of nowhere, a crowd formed and started taking my photo and posing me next to other fox people. It was one of the strangest experiences I’ve had so far, but now I have that fox pose on lock!

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Many adults and children were dressed up, singing, playing instruments, feasting, and warming themselves up by the fires that were placed around.

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Lanterns were hung everywhere and lit up the town in a red and white glow.

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Everybody was friendly and talkative, at least everybody who came up to me were!

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The evening ended with a trip to the Inari shrine.

We climbed the stairs to the temple where there were four different coloured bells to ring and fox statues everywhere. It wasn’t midnight yet, so it wasn’t crowded and there was a happy, quiet peace settled around the shrine as people prayed and rang the bells. This was hands down one of the oddest yet most interesting New years celebrations I’ve been to.

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